It’s a commonly held business principle that marketing to university students is productive not only in the short term, because campuses are fertile ground for early product adopters, but also because they are perfect opportunities to establish long-term relationships. We’re about to enter a busy period of campus fairs, information sessions and interviews, so it’s important to leverage these in-person activities with digital initiatives. They are easy, cheap and always on. Informed marketers continue to rely on some traditional marketing techniques to reach this coveted audience, but digital and interactive tactics are becoming more important for them in 2014 as they recognize that students are seeking employers out at all hours and via all channels. Increasing trends in communication to students now include content marketing, mobile, email marketing, marketing automation and social media.
Content marketing trends in 2014 include the increased usage of photos and videos in content posts because it drives greater engagement. Information-overloaded university students are especially attracted to visuals so marketers will continue to up the amount of visualization in their online content. Mobile initiatives will also continue to increase in 2014 based on the rising use – nearly 35 percent of all search engine traffic will come from mobile devices, with mobile banner advertising increasing by 100 percent. Mobile is a premium vehicle for any product or brand promotion for 2014, especially when targeting university students.
Email marketing is experiencing a resurgence due to the addition of new social sharing elements. Businesses marketing to university students in 2014 would be wise to include social sharing buttons in email due to the over 150 percent increase in click-through rates. Around 52 percent of enterprise businesses claim that the key driver for relationship building today is clearly social media. Plus, 33 percent of buyers state that they learn about new products via social media, a critical aspect to any product life cycle. It’s no secret that social media is the lifeblood of today’s students, but email can be your push marketing tool on campus this year.
Marketing automation is another key component to supercharge your campus marketing. Streamlining data helps businesses see the students at a glance so that they can more efficiently and pointedly direct their communications, inform students more holistically and ultimately deliver more applications. What’s especially powerful about marketing automation platforms is that they can show you conversion pathways of all your linked digital activities-you can see what is working well and what’s not in real-time. Tools like Hubspot and Marketo are affordable, offer great assets to get you started; improving your marketing regularly is a very possible activity with these systems.
Throughout this Fall and the rest of 2014, businesses will continue to integrate digital communications with more traditional elements of the media mix such as campus events, brand ambassadors, newspapers and more in attempts to build brand and employer awareness. Is your department and employer brand ready to be always on?
About the author
David is Univerum’s Global Vice President of Product and Head of Digital for the Americas